The first rule of creating the perfect cheese board is that there are no rules!
A single generous dollop of gorgonzola dolce with a baked fig ball and a scattering of hazelnuts is just as impressive as a vast array of cheese.
The classic board consists of three types; A Hard (Cheddar), A Soft (Brie) and a Blue (Stilton) and this can be a good backbone to your cheese board, but you don’t need to stop there. Let your creative side blossom…
Add a seasonal cheese such as a Vacherin Mont d’Or
Or a Goats Cheese like the Ragstone Roll or for an unusual shape the Tor Pyramid
Add a local – Swaledale, Wensleydale
If you know a guest is pregnant, vegetarian or lactose intolerant there’s still loads to add to keep them included. All our main cheeses are written up on the blackboards and are marked if Pasteurised, or Vegetarian, and the type of milk used, Cows, Ewes or Goats etc. If you don’t want too many cheeses think about swapping one or two. Perhaps swapping the Stilton (cows) for a Roquefort (ewes) Mrs Bells Blue (local & ewes) or swapping the Cheddar for a Manchego (ewes milk) or Ribblesdale (local & goats milk)
Channel your inner Artistry!
Think about the shape of your cheese board, is it wooden, china or slate? Long and thin, round or square? Then think about the way you position the cheeses. Contrasting shapes, heights and colours all add drama.
Yes chutney is a great condiment to put with a cheese board but what about some Membrillo, a baked fig ball, an almond cake or some truffle honey. A Farmhouse cheddar and a bowl of piccalilli will soon get demolished on Boxing Day.
Whilst Red Wine is the classic partner its not the only good choice. White wine goes much better with a lemony goats cheese. A sweet Sauterne goes well with a salty blue. And champagne is fabulous with a creamy cows milk like the Delice de Bourgugone. Beer is equally as good, try a strong blonde with Parmegiano Reggiano or a cider with an English Farmhouse Cheddar like the Wookey Hole and a shot of Sloe gin will make you think twice about automatically reaching for the Port bottle.
Basic Cheese Care
Love your cheese – don’t suffocate it! Wrap cling film over the front of the cheese but leave the rind uncovered to breath. Wax paper is much kinder on soft cheeses like a brie – feel free to ask for a couple of extra sheets we have lots and lots of it! Foil is the best for Blue cheeses.
Lastly remember that in order to appreciate all the flavours and textures of the cheeses you need to serve them at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge at least one hour before you want to eat them. Leave them uncovered somewhere in the cool if possible, if the only space available is a tiny perch in a warm kitchen just pop a damp tea towel over them to stop them drying out.
We’ve lots of Cheeses in the fridge now so please pop in and browse. If there’s something particular you’d like me to get hold of please let me know. Usually we can get things within a day or two.
Enjoy! Soph x